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Health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior can be classified as mental illnesses. Mental illnesses are also referred to as mental health disorders. Mental illnesses can affect all people of all ages. Genetics also play a role in whether or not someone becomes diagnosed with mental illness. There are over 200 forms of mental illness. It is common for people to be diagnosed with more than one disorder.
An estimated 80% of chronic mental health disorders begin in childhood
An estimated 20% of American children and adolescents have a diagnosable emotional or behavioral health disorder
People who experienced childhood maltreatment have a higher rate of depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and aggressive behaviors
The most common mental illnesses in teens are anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Anxiety is a constant fear of everyday life and situations that may occur. The fear can be minor or extreme, causing panic attacks. Depression is a feeling of sadness or loss of interest. Depression has an impact on mood, physical health, and can lead to other disorders. There are many types of eating disorders, what they all have in common, is that they take over the persons mind. Anyone with an eating disorder will become preoccupied with their weight and what they eat.
The most common mental illness among children is Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),phobias, and anxiety. A person who has ADHD has trouble concentrating and impulsive behavior. This can cause difficulties in school and coincide with other learning deficiencies. Autism can also be detected during childhoodand early detection can enhance functionality in the future. Phobias in children vary from each child, they can be random, or from a traumatic experience.
The most common mental illnesses in adults are anxiety depression, and bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a disorder that causes extreme mood swings. Bipolar disorder can also include loss of touch with reality, rapid changes from mania to depression, and extreme fatigue. This can be caused by genetics, altered structure of the brain, and the persons environment.
Common mental illnesses in elderly persons are anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia. Dementia and Alzheimer's are illnesses in which the person suffers from severe memory loss and confusion. Difficulty thinking and and remembering important dates is very common. Persons with schizophrenia experience hallucinations and have a skewed sense of reality. Disorganized thoughts and speech is common in schizophrenic people.